It was just his third game as a starter but rookie left tackle Terron Armstead was up to the task last Saturday night in Philly. Armstead was matched up against two-time Pro Bowler Trent Cole on (almost) every play and contained him pretty well. The entire offensive line played a good game, the best one on the road so far, allowing the Saints to rush for 185 yards. I reviewed the tape from the Eagles game and broke down Armsted’s performance.
First Quarter. On the first drive no runs went behind Armstead; he blocked Fletcher Cox perfectly on a play-action pass and then was able to disrupt Cole even if the pass rusher beat him initially on the edge. The first run on the left side was good for 4 yards and Armstead was already on the second level after blocking Cox in a double-team. After that he made another good block on Cole one-on-one on a third down.
Second Quarter. Excellent job in the running game, Armstead was very effective on a QB sneak too. Good overall blocking in the passing game, he allowed one “hurry” that forced Brees to check the ball down to Ingram. Not so good in the 2-minute drill as he allowed a sack for -2 yards.
Third Quarter. On the first 7-plays touchdown drive Armstead missed only a block in a run play while in the second 9-plays touchdown drive he was flagged for a hold on Cole: the penalty was committed on 3rd-and-2 and forced the Saints in a third-and-long situation. He made up for the mistake on the very next play by taking away Cole and cleaning the way for Brees to throw an easier ball on the 12-yard “curl” route by Stills. His blocking was terrific after the penalty.
Fourth Quarter. Still showing good push in the running game; good protection on the big play to Meachem with Cole fooled by the play-action. No mistakes in this quarter which is a really good thing.
It’s too soon to say if Armstead is the long-term answer for the left tackle position but if he keeps playing like this the future looks bright for the rookie. And for Drew Brees too.